Dear Editor:

As we visit Jumbo Pass from time to time, all seems in perfect harmony the endless familiar delights of bountiful Alpine blossoms, gleaming glaciers, pristine peaks, soothing scents, sensational skyscrapes, nightly nighthawks and possible glimpses of mountain goats. Jumbo Pass is in perfect shape. In Jumbo Valley, evidence of human shapings are passing with the years. The old mine and sawmill sites are nearly grown over and rock slides have closed the old logging road to all but recreational vehicles. This shifting shape becomes more like the prime habitat of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy directly to the south, allowing long-ranging carnivores and their numerous prey to expand their home ranges. Though we acknowledge nearly fifty active avalanche chutes and rapidly abating glaciers, the Jumbo area is known, near and far, as a place of peace and restoration for our bodies, minds and souls. Our hearts sense serenity in this refuge away from the present world of frequent and instantaneous abrupt shifts. Here at QatMuk, our spirits mingle with the dancing spirit of the grizzly bear. The issuance of the Master Development Agreement and subsequent fabrication of the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality (JGMRM) has caused no discernible shape shift at the time. In February 2013, JGMRM received a $200,000 start-up grant, standard practice when municipalities incorporate (plus $60,000 for personnel). When JGMRM filed their five-year financial plan listing anticipated revenues and expenses in February 2014, they listed personnel salaries as liabilities with no tax base for assets. Simultaneously, they applied for and received a Small Communities Grant for $200,000 for this year plus $200,000 annually the next four years. As a result Jumbo took on a new shape for B.C. taxpayers supporting a missing persons municipality who must anticipate supporting a road that goes nowhere but will cost the same as maintaining the Rogers Pass corridor. Quite recently, the provincial government announced an Order-In-Council that changed the determination in which ski resorts would be built. We braced ourselves for a Jumbo shift. However, the next day the order was rescinded the present shape holds. Currently, Glacier Resorts Ltd. (GRL), parent company of JGMRM, has a Licence of Occupation to build a ski lift on, and a lodge near, the Farnham Glacier. GRLs conditionally approved Environmental Assessment certificate terminates on October 12th, 2014 at which time the proper minister(s) will decide if GRL has made a substantial start. We have definitely entered countdown season and Jumbos shape will shift … depending.

Rowena Eloise

West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild, Argenta